John Enochs, a former fraternity member and student at Indiana University in Bloomington, was given one year of probation as part of a plea deal after facing charges related to rapes of two female students that occurred 18 months apart.
Enochs pled guilty to a charge of battery with moderate bodily injury. The judge ruled it a misdemeanor, even though it is a Level 6 felony in the state. In addition to the year of probation, Enochs must pay $183 in court costs. He served one night in jail when he was initially charged, court records show.
Court records obtained by The Huffington Post reveal Enochs was expelled from IU for one of the cases, but do not specify which case. Presumably the expulsion followed the 2015 case, as records show his education continued after the 2013 allegation.
The plea deal was filed in court on Friday, and the case has caught national attention in recent days as people have expressed disappointment that an alleged campus rapist wouldn’t be locked up.
Many people have compared the outcome to that of the Brock Turner case, in which a former Stanford University student received a six-month jail sentence after being convicted of three felony sexual assault charges. But the facts around Enochs’ charges are more complicated: They involve a civil complaint filed in Indiana and a federal lawsuit, as well as conflicting information traded between the prosecutor and the alleged victims.
Enochs maintains his innocence of the rape accusations, and insists that misconduct on the part of the lead investigator in the case prompted “sensationalized and false charges.”
“Issues of alcohol and sexual misconduct are serious issues on college campuses across the country, but such issues are trivialized when law enforcement misrepresents the true facts and fails to investigate the allegations fully and fairly,” reads a statement released by Enochs’ defense attorney, Katharine Liell.
Enochs was charged with rape and battery in September for two cases — one from Oct. 12, 2013, and the other from April 11, 2015. The battery charge he pled guilty to was related to the 2015 case. Medical records showed the woman in that case had suffered a tear to her vagina.
Enochs had a short criminal record prior to the rape charges: misdemeanor charges of possession of marijuana in October 2012 and illegal possession of an alcoholic beverage in November 2013.
The 2015 Rape Report
In April 2015, a woman reported to IU police that she had been raped by an unknown male at the Delta Tau Delta fraternity house, according to a probable cause affidavit HuffPost obtained.
The woman described being in a courtyard with friends before going inside to find a bathroom. The next thing she remembered was being “in a private room, naked, with an unknown male having sex with her,” court records say.
Surveillance footage from the frat house shows the woman leaving the room after 24 minutes, interacting with two men in the hallway, and then going into a bathroom, where her friends eventually found her, according to the probable cause affidavit.
The woman’s friends said she told them she wasn’t sure how she ended up in that private room. She told them, “I kept saying no,” and “I kept trying to leave but he kept making me stay by pushing me down,” the affidavit says. They soon got a cab to leave the DTD house and took the woman to get a rape kit performed at the hospital.
On April 21, 2015, the alleged victim identified Enochs in a photo lineup. The house manager had also identified Enochs in security video. A forensic report later showed Enochs’ DNA had been found on the woman, according to the probable cause affidavit.
Defense Attorney Says Crucial Evidence Left Out
However, Liell said the probable cause affidavit omitted a few details from the evening. She says the surveillance footage shows the alleged victim embracing and possibly kissing another man after leaving the room she was in with Enochs. Further, Liell said, the probable cause affidavit failed to mention that the rape kit revealed DNA from two other men had been found on the woman.
Monroe County Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Robert T. Miller told HuffPost both of those claims from Liell are accurate, and were part of the decision to drop the rape charge in the 2015 case. Those two issues “made it impossible for us to prove that the defendant was the cause of her injury,” Miller said in a statement.
Jeffrey Herman, the woman’s attorney, said there had not been a follow-up to the initial DNA test.
“My client had a boyfriend at the time and they failed to check to see whether it was his DNA, nor did they check to see if it was a DNA from the bed where she was sexually assaulted,” he said.
We never spoke to the victim.”
Monroe County Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Robert T. Miller
Miller told People magazine that the alleged victim never returned the department’s calls. Through her lawyer, the woman told HuffPost she disputed that claim.
Miller told HuffPost that their sex crimes deputy made multiple calls to the woman’s mother asking for the victim to call them back.
“We never spoke to the victim,” he said. “We spoke to the mother about this just a short time ago and she told us that the victim’s phone was broken for a part of that time and that we didn’t tell her it was urgent.”
Herman said the woman’s “family is frustrated,” adding that the alleged victim had no input on the plea deal.
“We understand that the victims in these cases are not parties in the criminal cases, which is why the civil cases are often the only measure of justice,” Herman said.
The 2013 Rape Report
The woman in the previous case went to the DTD house around 5 p.m. on Oct. 12, 2013, to have drinks before a Greek life dance, the probable cause affidavit and the civil lawsuit both state. Other members of her sorority, Delta Zeta, were with her. Witnesses told police they went back to the DZ house an hour later to get ready for the dance.
The woman said she did not remember what happened between about 6:30 p.m. and 11 p.m. that night. The last thing she says she can remember is taking photos in a courtyard with Enochs, according to the probable cause affidavit.
Two witnesses told police they had seen through a window about an hour later that Enochs was having sex with the woman. One witness said the woman appeared to be asleep, and had her eyes closed as she lay on the bed.
Enochs sent the woman texts around 7 p.m. stating, “I need to find my boxers,” and “This is so uncomfortable.” The woman’s friends woke her up when they returned from the dance around 10:25 p.m. She then replied to Enochs via text, writing “John what the fuck happened” and saying the last thing she remembered was being at the frat house.
“Damn idk,” he replied, according to court records. “You like blacked out we didn’t even go to the barn dance once yoi passed out I came back to delts [sic].”
The probable cause affidavit said that on Oct. 21, 2013, the woman reported to campus police that she had been sexually assaulted, and did not want to pursue charges at the time. But Liell claimed that the woman never told police that she was raped, which Miller said was accurate.
IU’s police department wouldn’t let HuffPost see the initial police reports, insisting it does not release case reports to “anyone.” The university’s general counsel immediately denied a records request for them from HuffPost.
Liell added that the woman’s assertion that she was blackout drunk was contradicted by photos taken that night. Miller also agreed with that claim from Liell.
“This is important because the complaint was that she was ‘unaware’ that the sex was occurring due to her consumption of alcohol,” Miller said.
The photos in question are included in the court documents that HuffPost obtained. They show the woman and Enochs posing together behind the sorority house, but the resolution is so poor that it’s very difficult to identify either person or see details of their facial expressions.
Nevertheless, the photos caused a delay in investigating the 2013 case, and the video surveillance footage and DNA results in the 2015 case presented “evidentiary problems” that Miller said his office could not overcome.
“This case presented a very unusual set of circumstances in that we had two unrelated accusations, two years apart,” Miller said. “That was an important consideration in our initial decision to charge. However, under the law, a jury considering one case would not be allowed to know about the other. After the case(s) was filed, evidence continued to be developed that lead us to the conclusion that neither case, standing alone, presented sufficient evidence to prove rape.”
The Women File Lawsuits
The woman in the 2015 case filed a federal lawsuit against the university and the fraternity earlier this month, claiming that because a woman had reported having been raped by Enochs in 2013, the school and DTD failed to intervene and take measures that could have prevented her own assault.
The woman in the other case reported being raped by Enochs in October 2013, but only decided to agree to a criminal investigation after learning about the 2015 allegation, court records say.
She alleged in September that Enochs had spiked her drink in 2013 prior to taking her to her room and having with sex with her while she was unconscious. Her suit accuses Enochs of rape, sexual battery and confinement, and the fraternity of negligence.
Liell said there’s no evidence that the woman was drugged, and told HuffPost that she believes the alleged vicim is trying to “extort” money from Enochs. The woman’s attorney did not respond to repeated requests for comment.
Liell said the lead investigator, IUPD Sgt. Rebecca Schmuhl, misrepresented the evidence available and misled prosecutors — for example, by omitting certain details from the affidavit. IUPD declined to comment.
IU refused to state whether Enochs faced school charges of violating the university’s sexual assault policy, and would only say that Enochs is not currently enrolled at IU. A spokesman said in an email to HuffPost that releasing such information would violate the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. However, FERPA allows universities to disclose the final results of a violation committed and the sanction imposed in cases of sexual assault and other crimes.
Tyler Kingkade is a national reporter focusing on sexual violence and higher education. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or find him on Twitter: @tylerkingkade.
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